e passed the International Date line last night, so I guess we are doing Tuesday again. Kind of a neat milestone . . . I guess Greenwich, England, is pretty much straight down under our hull about 10,000
miles from here.
We are starting to get a little payoff from our southwesterly
position. On the last sked, we gained on everyone but Merit.
Unfortunately, I don't think our payoff will be as big as we
thought it would have been. Still, we have to stay in contact
with the leaders and hang in there for the long term.
There is a large high-pressure sitting east of the fleet. The
fleet has to sail around the high as there are very light winds in
the center of it. The wind shifts from east to north to west as
you go down the western side of the high. There is usually
incrementally stronger wind as you go away from the center, but the
wind shift favors being closer to the center. This is a tricky
trade-off to judge.
We have placed ourselves to the west, counting on the wind being
lighter to the east, and obviously for Kvaerner, EF Education and Brunel, it
has been. They have all had to gybe on an unfavorable heading to
get south, therefore losing some miles. Chessie is sailing very
smartly by placing themselves with all the changing weather and
the scatter of the fleet.
I just remembered that these messages are getting circulated to
our competitors now, so I will have to watch what I say on some
We are currently about 60 miles from the Chatham Islands, some 500
miles southeast of Auckland. That is not very far considering we
started 72 hours ago. We will all gybe onto starboard in about
24 hours with the northwesterly shift and the wind should build up
to 25 knots over the following 24 hours. That will be a nice
change, as we would all like to be making more progress toward the
finish than our current rate.
Life on board is still easy in this smooth-water running condition.
Temperatures are moderate and comfortable. So, [it's] not hard at all to
get dressed, not very many clothes to get on, easy to eat and
cook, nice and smooth for sleeping, etc. That will all change
soon enough with the fire hose starting up on deck and some nice
slamming and belly flopping down the waves. That should be on our
menu by the weekend.